From: South Africa's Radical Tradition, a documentary history, Volume One 1907 - 1950, by Allison Drew

Document 44 - Letter from Leon Trotsky to T. W. Thibedi, 4 September 1932

                                                                                                                              Prinkipo, September 4, 1932

Dear Comrade Thibedi:-

Thank you for your communication which I am transmitting to Comrade Witte. It would be a very great step forward if we could establish an organ in the negro language. I suppose that the material hindrances would be great in this time of deep crisis, Are many negro comrades unemployed in Johannesburg and in South Africa in general?

The Stalinists state that the Left Opposition is almost non- existent. The information is not correct. It is true that we are only at the beginning of our great educational and organizational war, but our progress in the last year is very satisfactory in many of the European countries, and we can hope that the comrades who work in the double persecution of the bourgeois state and the Stalinist bureaucracy will become steeled into good revolutionaries. Discipline is necessary but discipline alone is sufficient for a capitalist army, not for a revolutionary party. We are far from exaggerating our forces.

The revolutionary movement must remain very honest in the estimation of its own power: it is the only way to win the confidence of the workers.

Have you among your comrades, workers and students, and what is the proportion of the one to the other? Have you any connections with negroes in America? I hope that the hour is near when the great awakening of the exploited negro masses will give rise to good Marxists and theoreticians from among their ranks. My Communist greetings and best wishes for the success of your work,

                                                                                                                                                      Leon Trotsky